Mastery by Robert Greene is one of the first books I read this year and it will shape how I will approach the rest of my life. Honest, thorough, and engaging, Robert Greene instructs you how to truly devote your life to your inner calling.
Real World Examples
“Darwin could have played it safe, collecting what was necessary, and spending more time on board studying instead of actively exploring. In that case, he would not have become an illustrious scientist, but just another collector. He constantly looked for challenges, pushing himself past his comfort zone. He used danger and difficulties as a way to measure his progress. You must adopt such a spirit and see your apprenticeship as a kind of journey in which you will transform yourself, rather than as a drab indoctrination into the work world.”
– Robert Greene
I discovered Robert Greene (like most people) through his book The 48 Laws of Power. I quickly fell in love with his writing style and sought out more of his work.
Greene tends to collect his ideas into a “law” or principle that he has observed during his own personal experience or through his research. Then he codified it with a historical example of that law being played out either in that person’s favor or to their detriment.
The real world examples add an extra dimension to the idea being presented, helping it to be digested, as well as helping the principle stick with you. The laws come alive in his writing with the historical characters acting them out.
In Mastery, Robert Greene pulled from historical examples as well as contemporary sources that he interviewed himself. The figures featured in this book that have stuck with me the most are Hakuin Zenji, Wolfgang Von Goethe, The Carolina Islanders, and Cesar Rodriguez Jr.
“It is not a matter of studying for twenty years and then emerging as a Master. The time that leads to mastery is dependent on the intensity of our focus.”
– Robert Greene
The advice in this book is immensely practical regardless of your interests. Greene stresses that you achieve mastery through hard work and constant improvement. To gain mastery in a field, first you must master yourself.
I would recommend Mastery to anyone who is interested in self-discipline and wants to achieve something great.
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